Golemancer Attempt No.2

Fists of War

Diabloii.Net Member
I have a few questions...

Have you found ALL that gear, especially the countless malice runes, just with Balboa?

Or do you save the runes into Atma, so once you have found them you have an unlimited supply?

Because it just seems like a lot of hard work and luck to get that ammount of runes...

By the way I'm trying something somewhat like this, a singleplayer 1.11b hardcore paladin. I'm going to max holy bolt+prayer to heal my mercenary and kill undead, and use a maxed concentration aura to make my merc do some decent damage. Do you reckon I will be able to find the runes to make good weapons for my merc by level 30-40? (thats when I plan on killing normal diablo+baal). Playing on /players 8 most of the time, untwinked etc. :p

LozHinge the Unhinged

Diabloii.Net Member
@dutes - feels good to be rid of Andy. I still haven't forgiven her for chewing up my Gumby so badly back in Normal.
I hope I can make another Honor - I did have a 5os CV but seem to have lost it in a muling exercise :cry:

@kykle - Titan's for Rusty? I've not picked up a Titan's before so I was naturally thinking of stashing it, but now you have me thinking ... And don't worry, Balboa is alive and well as we speak. I'll make a post on his adventures in Lut Gholein's sewers soon, assuming RL gives me a chance.

@Fists of War - I am playing TOTALLY self-found, but in a sense I'm twinking as I am muling off and on ATMA when I get a chance to do so. My rune supply, especially for Malice has run very short now, but then so has my supply of half-way decent socketed weapons. Without ATMA, I would have had to have kept a stash suitable socket items and runes, cubing constantly, which would have hurt my ability to stockpile rejuvies, uniques etc. It would have been doable, but tough choices would have been required. I've often cubed up Nefs, even a few Els, Elds and Tirs, to keep me in Eths and Iths. You always feel you're running short.
I started off really lucky with runes and do bear in mind I've been running /players 8 throughout Normal and Nightmare. Just recently, the supply of new runes seems to be drying up a little.
At level 30-40, you should be able to get low runes easily, especially at P8. You have access to Lower Kurast, Travincal, Act 4, and maybe Cows, in Normal if you are re-running areas, which should provide some runes. If you aren't re-running, you need to stay at P8 all the time to give yourself the best chance of rune drops. I habitually pick up every rune I find (OCD) and that's just as well, as I have had to cube up quite a few times to keep me in Malice IGs.


Diabloii.Net Member
hm looking at titans there arent very many good IG mods on it cept for LL and nice damage

might be a waste

LozHinge the Unhinged

Diabloii.Net Member
True. I'll probably keep the Titan's for twinking a Zon, one day.
Just found this last night:

Gale Fang
Hyperion Spear
Two-Hand Damage: 50 to 160
Durability: 75 of 90
Required Dexterity: 120
Required Strength: 155
Required Level: 43
Spear Class - Fast Attack Speed
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 75
Fingerprint: 0xe7971d9b
+34% Enhanced Damage
+4 to Minimum Damage
+1 to Maximum Damage
70% Damage to Demons
+141 to Attack Rating against Demons
Socketed (2: 0 used)

pSapphire and pEmerald look good options, helps with crowd control and regen ...
Or pRuby/pTopaz, for extra elemental bite? Ah, choices.


Diabloii.Net Member
I have thoroughly read both of your Golemancer attempt threads and I've enjoyed every minute of it!
I am starting my own Necro "Rathma" and I am setting up some strict rules for myself just like you did. Only I want to see how far I can go without spending ANY skill points or ANY attribute points without getting killed. Rathma will be untwinked and I will rely exclusively on +skills items and my merc.
This will buy me some time to figure out exactly how to spend my own skill/attribute points a little later on. I am leaning towards having points in Iron Golem someday because of your adventures.
Think I will last past Act 2 Normal at all before spending points?
I am allowing 7 different mules in my Battle.net account for Rathma.

LozHinge the Unhinged

Diabloii.Net Member
I believe you can go quite far without spending levelling points. I haven't tried it myself but I'm sure others here have some anecdotes to share. My guess is that you can make it to Act 2 Normal, but on to Act 3 or later? I don't know!
Playing SP with ATMA, I have an unlimited number of mules and can mule off items anytime I wish, but I can only mule back on after I have saved and exited. Muling makes my life a lot easier, as I need to hoard socketables.

Good luck with Rathma and have fun! IG ftw.


Diabloii.Net Member
Hi guys,

1st time i'm ever playing SP (new house so no internet yet) and wondering how one uses "ATMA" instead of mules?

sure its a retarded question but i'm hoping to make a random hardcore man whilst i wait for the net!



LozHinge the Unhinged

Diabloii.Net Member
Tombs are the Pits

Balboa's hopes of spending time in the shops and inns of Lut Gholein were dashed for a number of reasons. The shops were empty of the little glass-spun trinkets he loves to collect - all he could find was adventuring gear for sale. Ah, the free market economy ... supply and demand ... makes you weep sometimes. A strict "No Alcohol" rule was in force in the city which made the local hostelries rather dreary places - staffed by dreary people with dreary stories to tell. One such person had somehow wrung a promise from Balboa to avenge her family. The promise was given somewhat duplicitously though, as Balboa had every intention of slaying evil wherever he could find it. At least until the January Sales, anyway.

The sewers beneath Lut Gholein required careful handling, but were relatively easy to cleanse. Dim Vision seemed to hold creatures almost motionless, easy prey for mercenary and golem. Where bosses and/or champions proved too much of a handful, Decrepify evened things up a bit. One Curse that Balboa hadn't really needed before was Life Tap - gradually, this curse has been creeping into his repertoire, especially when faced with unleechable enemies. In any event, Malice has no life-leech, so Life Tap has become a useful tool. The third Sewer level had a particularly troublesome Bone Mage Champion pack - curses and Bone Walls kept things in order. Radament, by contrast, presented little difficulty once his retinue had been lured away and slain.

Moving into the open desert was quite frankly, a shock to our small band of adventurers. A Beetle Boss Pack greeted our egress from the city and was nearly the end of us. An emergency portal was kept in place whilst merc and golem alternated brushes with death. Leapers were a complete pain - but amongst them was a hidden a very unpleasant surprise. That fellow was pure bad news. In recompense, there were some pleasurable moments - a randomly dropped treasure by a Beetle was a mere taste of things to come ... this dropped from a normal Spear Cat! We ended up clearing the Rocky Wastes and Dry Hills of wandering evil and turned our attention to the first of two underground Tombs. It was a long hard slog clearing the Stony Tomb of its occupants and their bosses. At one point we were trapped with nowhere to go. Terror and Decrepify and some hard fighting kept us alive.

The second Tomb, "The Halls of the Dead", promised to be worse than the Stony Tomb. In preparation, Balboa decided to create a new Rusty, as the existing one simply wasn't doing enough damage, even with the Strength runeword. He had a 2os Colossus Voulge that was too much for Jemali to wield - that situation wasn't going to change anytime soon, either - and thus a new, even stronger Strength Rusty was born. Jemali continued to wield a Malice Voulge, which although under-powered, was still effective in conjunction with the Golem's damage. Confident of his chances, Balboa led us down into the Halls.
Enormous, infuriating frustration - the stairs down led to a squarish corridor which we must have circumscribed perhaps a hundred times. We simply could not kill the skeletons and mummies fast enough to get to the Hollow Ones that constantly revived them. Balboa insisted we persevere beyond any sane measure of futility - but finally Jemali's pleas, combined with my own, were heard and Balboa led us out of the Halls and into an area of Desert known as The Far Oasis. Under the open sky, even a boss Beetle seemed a bit of light relief. Spirits started to rise amongst the team, but we were soon forced back by a strong band of marauders. Balboa saw Jemali beside him, and looked back for Rusty - of which there was no trace. He had vanished. A Colossus Voulge Strength Rusty, vanished without trace. Fury blackened Balboa's visage - Jemali fell back and almost fled.

Balboa considered his options, when he had cooled down. There were options ... a 2os Ogre Maul picked up only earlier was socketed with a pSapphire and a pEmerald. The merc retained his Malice weapon and we once again descended into the Halls. With the shatter effect of the pSapphire, we started to make some progress. Soon, Balboa was starting to feel very confident of his ability to defeat his enemies down there. And then, out of the blue, Balboa fell when he was suddenly mobbed by some Desert Wings.
There was no excuse for that, he had failed to pay enough attention to his danger. The Powers That Be decided, after a pause, to resurrect Gumby Balboa as they felt he should not be punished for a simple lapse, not when he was just beginning to show his true potential as a Hero.

The golemancer found himself back in Lut Gholein - the Powers had decreed that he need not try to reclaim the equipment he'd left in the Halls and had restored them to him. Jemail was re-hired and a new Rusty created, especially for the Halls - a 4os Feral Axe with perfect Sapphire, Emerald, Topaz and Skull. Jemali was equipped with a Rare Hyperian Spear with enhanced damage and socketed with a pSapphire and a pSkull. With their minions shattered by Sapphire-powered weaponry, Boss after boss fell to the re-vitalised team, despite some rather dangerous abilities.

The Halls Waypoint and the stairs to the third level have been located. The fabled Viper Altar awaits us.

114 Stats and 7 Skill points spare - I may need to boost Vitality soon. The death I suffered was completely avoidable and came as a result of over-confidence after a weapon switch seemed to be working well. Duh.
DV is calling to me, saying my life will be easier if I spend skill points on it. I'm weakening :grin:

All in all a frustrating session (played at /players 5 over the course of three days), with a death, two lost Rustys and a third one dismissed as it was too weak. I need some uber-socketed weapons and some uber-runes to make a powerful Rusty that can kill quickly.
Rusty's survivability is currently quite good, so a change to a Might Merc is probably indicated - I try to resist this, as every move towards cookie-cutterdom detracts from the individuality of the build. I want Rusty to be the start of the show, dammit! :soapbox:

Champion GumbyBalboa - Level 83, Act 2, Halls of the Dead
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Diabloii.Net Member
I don't get how this is interesting. You get to fight, you get to give your merc decent stuff, you even get bone armor, you get to die, how is this a "golemmancer"? I'm pretty sure your iron golem does practically no damage. People have beaten hell naked with only bonewall.

LozHinge the Unhinged

Diabloii.Net Member
This is a personal challenge, of interest to me, and a few other forumites who have read and contributed to the thread. The character is a "golemancer" (or "golemmancer") the same way a fishymancer with a merc is still a fishymancer. There is no obligation on anyone to find it "interesting".

Naturally, there have been tougher challenges, with weaker builds/characters/equipment, etc, played by better players and re-counted in threads on these forums. I don't pretend that I am in the same league. If someone doesn't see the point of this thread, then it doesn't have one - at least, as far as they are concerned. They can feel free to skip this thread, in that case, as they will be missing nothing of interest.

I'm intrigued though - if I do a search for a "bonewaller build" or similar, will I be able to find a thread that tells me how to beat the game with Bone Wall? Thanks in advance.


Diabloii.Net Member
Yeah, someone did it. I think it was hardcore too. I lost the patience many years ago to even play without getting rushed ;) gl and glad you're having fun.


Diabloii.Net Member
Best of luck to you and your Golemmancer!!

Being similarly brain dead bored, about 2 years ago I had once tried a pure Valk Zon. With no attacking from the Zon it self an managed to get her to Hell Diablo. At that point Diablo would just not stay still long enough and Valk was too slow to pursue him. Fought to a one hour draw twice.

Odly enough though, she did quite well in hell cows.


Diablo: IncGamers Member
Hey, LozHinge the Unhinged, would you mind showing all of your skill atributes and skill distribution? Ascii or pictures would be cool, I'm just curious where you ended up putting more/less points into in order to survive.

Keep up the gaming, I like checking into here just to see the latest adventures of Rocky and how his golem is serving him. :)

LozHinge the Unhinged

Diabloii.Net Member
@thepandafactor - thanks for the good wishes. Enjoy your rushes and (fingers crossed) godly items!

@Feetstench - best forum name ever :grin: "bromodosis" just doesn't cut it. Thanks for your good wishes. Frustrating that your valk build couldn't beat the scampering pup, Diablo, though. I may end up in the same boat. :undecided:

@MYK - screenshots herewith:

Curses on standard switch
Summons on pre-buff switch

Hard Points invested ... Str 36, Dex 25 (base), Vit 300, Eng 25 (base)
Curses 1 in all except - 0 LR, 5 in DV
Summons - 20 GM/CG/BG, 8 IG, 1FG, 1 SR
P/Bn 0 in all except - 1 BA/BW

I need to go through my ATMA* stash to see whether I can optimise Balboa a bit more *all items self-found by Balboa

The unspent stats points are being held in reserve depending upon whether I need str for armour or vit (to survive!)
The unspent skills are a toss-up between DV and IG, with DV being favourite right now. LR may get a look in, as I am now suffering a little from PIs and stoneskins.

Thanks for your interest and support!


Diabloii.Net Member
Still reading your golemancer's progress with great interest. My lvl 17 baby Necro "Rathma" did indeed make it past Act 1 Normal without spending any attribute/skill points. Totally item and merc dependent. Coldcrow and another frost nova boss were almost my undoing a couple of times. I will probably start my own thread if I miraculously make it past Act 2 without dying. (These are single-player passworded games on BNet.)

LozHinge the Unhinged

Diabloii.Net Member
timevalue, I hope you make it to Act 3 as I would like to read how you are getting on. I have to believe that you have spent some points, or soon will do, while you are in Act 2. There are some big nasties in the various tombs and the revived Returned etc are a bane. Cold damage ftw (unless you have another means of disposing of corpses).
The temptation to put a point in Corpse Explosion is strong at the moment, but I'll resist.

<me /shudders at the memory of his own battles with Coldcrow>

LozHinge the Unhinged

Diabloii.Net Member
Halls of the Dead (aka The Longest Day)

Balboa felt that there were perhaps one or two rooms at most left unexplored in the Halls ... hopefully a simple matter to deal with before we investigate a tunnel we'd seen elsewhere (the one that seemed to harbour over-sized maggots). We took the vaulted corridor heading North West from the stairs, having already cleared the other wings on the third level. A Hollow One calling itself Soul Crow stood against us and after a brief struggle, fell to our fighters - Jemali, wielding a rare Hyperion Spear with enhanced plus cold damage, and the special Feral Axe Iron Golem with elemental damage. The combination was proving helpful against revivable creatures, so Balboa was confident.

We slid open a heavy door leading to a chamber that proved to be something of a nightmare. On the left was a mummy sarcophagus that was vomiting forth a sea of Dried Corpses ... on the right, three Hollow Ones. Balboa weighed up his options - charge the sarcophagus to try and destroy it, whilst Dim Visioning the Hollow Ones, or charge the the lanky monsters and hope to hold the mummies at bay with Terror and Dim Vision.
We opted for the first plan, but first we needed to draw out the mummies that seethed throughout the chamber. We enticed them out of the room, half a dozen at a time, away from the Hollows, and slew them in the corridor. It was necessary to Dim Vision, and sometimes Terror, the Hollows to prevent them from following us out of the room and re-activating the mummies we had slain. A nice plan, but we could not match the output of the sarcophagus. A seemingly limitless supply of 'Corpses marched forth towards us. At one point, a Hollow refused to be Terrored away from the action and ended up next to the sarcophagus - dangerously near the entrance to the room and the rapidly growing pile of dead mummies. If one or more Hollows set to work on the bodies of the slain, it would be an almost hopeless situation for us.
The battle raged endlessly, with Balboa trying increasingly risky tactics to try to make some progress. At one point, a couple of Bone Walls cast at the right places isolated the single Hollow One from the pack of mummies, and a few hits were scored, but we were driven back.
Eventually, it was obvious we could do nothing about the Sarcophagus, so Balboa led a charge that drove the Hollow back to the other side of the room, away from the sarcophagus. After more hard fighting, a lull in the number of mummies gave us the opportunity to strike at the aforementioned Hollow One. His two companions had for some reason left the room via the other exit and were readily controlled with Dim Vision. The mummies in the room were blinded or Terrored and, incredibly, we were able to take our chance.
Unfortunately, being so close to the other exit, we attracted the notice of a large band of Returned skeletons, who drove us out of the room and back into the corridor (for maybe the fiftieth time).
When we finally managed to slay that particular combined force of mummies and skellies, we found another of the Hollow Ones isolated. It started to raise corpses from the corridor (where perhaps fifty or sixty mummies and a dozen skellies were lying in the dust), but we toughed it out with DV and Terror. In short order, we had slain another one. We were finally able to move out via the other exit, but had to be mindful of the sarcophagus still active behind us. The third Hollow One was isolated, slain by Jemali whilst Rusty tanked the mixed force of undead at the doorway.
Once free of the mummies, who seemed to be staying close to the sarcophagus, we charged down the new corridor. Hollow Ones were blinded, skellies were tanked or Terrored, and DesertWings Amped and slain. Released from the frustration of the previous room, we stormed down that final corridor very swiftly, slaying four last Hollow Ones and their retinue with ease.

The Halls are clear, but what a struggle.

Stats and Chats
No change in stats, there was very little experience to be had from this session.
I cannot believe how hard that was. I had to play really cautiously, as even Rusty wasn't immune to the attacks of half a dozen Dried Corpses plus the missile attacks of the Hollow Ones. Life Tap was used liberally to keep Jemali alive. The merc's kill speed is too low with equipment currently available to me, and this particular golem was incapable of doing more than minimal damage against the mummies - a drawback of having to pack cold damage weapons for revivable monsters. Whilst DV helped a lot, the monsters would attack unhindered if they wandered close enough to the team. Terror rarely worked right as the creatures often bumped into each other and rebounded back into us.
I lost count of the number of mummies slain, easily over seventy of them - does anyone know how many of them a Hell Sarcophagus can cough out before it stops?
I was only ever in danger when I tried to break the deadlock - at several points I was stuck in a corner of the room with a dozen or more mummies and two or more Hollow Ones between me and the exits. Much running around required, with a dash of low-grade panic for seasoning.
I think I may give destroying that damned sarcophagus a miss (or maybe I won't ...)

I suppose the best way to demonstrate what this was like was simply to show you this map,
and tell you that it took about four hours to traverse the red line.

Champion GumbyBalboa - Level 83, Act 2, Halls of the Dead